There are many theories and ideas about framing the subject. For a while this is referred to as composition then later as image design. At various times the importance of image design has had more or less emphasis placed on it. Ultimately the way the image is designed does have a dramatic effect on how effectively the image works.
However, predictably design prescriptions produce cliches, and image makers are constantly exploring new and dramatic ways of constructing images.
Understanding something of how and audience might relate to the design of an image provides another useful syntactical tool.